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Dublin: -2 °C Saturday 24 February, 2018

This couple got a special Valentine's blessing today, right beside the remains of St Valentine

Some remains of the third century Saint are interred in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin.


IT HAS BECOME something of pre-Valentine’s Day tradition.

Every year, on the day before St Valentine’s Day, a Catholic priest blesses an engaged couple in front of the remains – well, a very small part of them – of the patron saint of couples.

Today at the shrine of Saint Valentine in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin city centre, Anna Keegan and Seamus Walsh were blessed in their engagement.

According to the Church, the shrine is dedicated to a priest from 3rd century Rome who defied an order from the Emperor who had forbid marriage and engagements in order to acquire men for his army.

Valentine is reported to have secretly married couples who wished to get around the ban, which ultimately lead to his death. He was condemned to die on 14 February – a day that now celebrates all things love.

The shrine is said to contain some of the bodily remains of saint Valentine and a vessel tinged with his blood.

Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin was on hand to bless the engaged couple who plan on marrying in October this year.

“It was something very special that we know we now have for ourselves,” said Seamus Walsh.

Bishop Nulty ended the ceremony by telling the couple: “The commitment of the young couple getting married is so moving because they say it’s against all odds – no matter what happens – that we’ll be there for each other.”

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